Took long to come up with an article because I was so wallowed in on ideas and I couldn’t pick one that was so personal to me. Here’s one.
At the age of 8, I was already a class monitress in what at the time was called kindergarten, I was in a foreign country with little to no knowledge of their language and what I should do with being a class representative. At that time, I couldn’t tell why I was always chosen to be among the leaders and why of all the children in my class it had to be me. But come to think of it now, it clicked that I was always forthcoming when it came to asking questions and always eager to learn, that I actually aroused the teachers’ interest in me. From that time on, even when we left the country and came back home, I have always been curious to learn new ways around life, around everything and that I believe that made me have a sharp mind, my goal was to be more informed.
My friends have always been a year or two older and I never felt like I’m jumping levels. You could say my IQ was at their level and not with my age mates. Little did I know that I was creating a problem for me that would most likely intimidate or be perceived unwelcome in a society that expects the girl child/women to be less informed or opinionated. What if my intention was none of the above, but to simply be heard? Long story short, to this time, among my friends, and in my relationships, I’m always given the eye because I’m forward and eloquent with sharing opinions, sentiments and with boldness. Either I’m told , “you are strong-willed, a hard hand, opinionated” et cetera. And that a woman should tone down and maybe not speak up to avoid being named and placed in all sorts of disgraceful categories.
In Rwandan cultural setting much less Muslim backgrounds, a woman is expected to lower her gaze and not to share her thoughts as it’s simply not acceptable by the society and religious standards. I’m glad that I work for myself which allows me to make decisions. I would say this is the only place my opinion is respected and I feel in tune with my whole true persona.
This right here is the reason I started Teakisi – being able to speak up and finally getting heard! Well done Sheila
Thank you Salha for this platform. And for trusting us to reach out!! I hope we can impact as many lives as we can.
Thank you sheila , so many things women are not allowed to say or to do while men enjoy all the freedom. What is even Sad is that many women tend to judge other woman and push to push them to settle for less in the name of culture. Nice article
I love love your contribution to this. What is our role as women towards stepping on our own rights!?
HAHAHAHAAH. There you are!!!
This is a great read.
thank you for this Sheila! here is to more women taking up space. like you say, we battle with culture and religion to shrink ourselves and its time we stop that.
You can say that again. Submission and shrinkage are not synonyms. Can we drop the theatrics.lol
It’s not just in Rwanda. It happens all over Africa!
I agree. Shamee
Isn’t it time for religions to consider revising their ideologies?
Thank you Sheilla for this great piece. Bold indeed.
Thank you Dave for taking your time to read
Great read Sheila.
Oh, how I relate to this post!
It’s liberating to be oneself freely without the fear of prejudice.